Here on my blog, I like to write about all the beautiful destinations I have visited. But most of all, I love to promote my native country, especially if the praise comes from international travel bloggers, people who have traveled all over the world and still find in Romania a destination that is worth exploring. A lesser-known country, a hidden gem in southeast Europe, with plenty of wonderful places to offer: from gorgeous landscapes, medieval castles, and towns, to traditional villages, waterfalls, national parks, and monasteries.

     Today, 1st of December 2018, Romania celebrates 100 years since the Great Unification, and I thought it’s the ideal occasion to celebrate through such an article. So, I invited 15 international travel bloggers to talk about their favorite place in Romania.

 


Best places to visit in Romania,

according to 15 travel bloggers

   Brasov

     Brasov is a beautiful city in Transylvania, a Romanian region associated with impossibly high peaks, fairytale castles, and of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But if you look further than the myths and the legends, you’ll soon discover that this stunning region has so much more to offer!
     For example, the city of Brasov is home to gems such as the narrowest street in Eastern Europe, fantastic architecture, and several towers and town walls which date back to the Middle Ages. While in the city, be sure to also not miss Brasov Fortress (where you can also grab a bite to eat) and enjoy a free walking tour.
     Easy to reach within a couple of hours of the Romanian Capital, Bucharest, it’s best to base yourself in the city for a few days, so as to fully explore the region. After all, from here, it’s easy to take day trips to nearby fortifications and castles such as Bran Castle, Peles Castle, and Rasnov Citadel.
     By Sophie from Solo Sophie

Brasov Romania


   Corvin Castle

    Castles are always a top priority for me when traveling. And after having explored some other castles in Romania, I can definitely say that Corvin Castle in Hunedoara was – by far – my favorite one when I visited in August 2018.

This castle, honestly, was a dream come true! It was like traveling through time and I’d never expected to come across such a gem on my road trip through Romania. It was well worth the detour on our trip, but one that I’d take again and again and again.

Corvin Castle is not only well preserved but also has this special charm. There’s quite a lot to explore within the castle walls and I could definitely picture the Romanian partner school of Hogwarts teaching here. One of my favorite parts of it is the wonderful wooden bridge that leads up to the castle as well as the highly decorated knights hall. Don’t skip Corvin Castle on your next trip to Romania!

 

     By Viktoria from Chronic Wanderlust 

Corvin Castle


   The Danube Delta

     I have visited several places in Romania and even lived in the country for a while, but no place has felt as unique and captured my heart the way the Danube Delta did.  The Delta is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Located in Romania’s northeast and shared with Ukraine, the Danube Delta is where the Danube River meets the Black Sea. 
     There is an abundance of wildlife and flora in the area and the culture is extremely different from that of the rest of Romania.  While the Delta caters more to slow tourism and must be done sustainably because of the sensitive ecosystem and laid-back nature of the place, it should not be missed by travelers if they want to see how diverse and incredible Romania truly is.
     By Megan from MeganStarr.com

danube delta


   Bucharest

     Bucharest, Romania’s hip capital, is a fabulous city with trendy cafes and luscious bookstores. It also features a rebuilt Old Town with ruins from Vlad the Impaler and miniature Orthodox monasteries. Some of my favorite things to do in Bucharest include trips to the Village Museum and the Romanian Athenaeum. 

     One thing that always strikes me whenever I’m in the city is just how much green space and parks are available to wander through. I spend the majority of my free time in Bucharest taking long photo walks, sometimes on an official tour and sometimes on my own. One thing that I did on my first trip to the city that I highly recommend is joining the free walking tour. Bucharest is a large city, and it’s not very compact. This tour will help you get your bearings and give you a great introduction to the city. But make sure to give yourself some free time here, since it’s a city that rewards those who wander and get lost. 

      By Stephanie from Sofia Adventures

Bucharest


    Cluj-Napoca

     If you’re looking for a hip, trendy, and dynamic city to visit in Romania, then look no further than Cluj-Napoca! As the capital of the Transylvania region and one of the largest urban areas in the country, Cluj has a lot to offer travelers and is the perfect destination to add to any Romania itinerary.

     Despite the fact that it is quite a large city, Cluj has a wonderful laid-back nature and lends itself to be explored at a relaxed pace. There is a thriving cafe culture as well as a fantastic nightlife for those looking to party into the early hours of the morning. During the day, there are many interesting things to occupy yourself within Cluj, including a handful of quirky and fascinating museums. The city also continually organizes cultural events so there is likely going to be something cool going on while you’re visiting.

     While there aren’t a vast amount of typical tourist sites in Cluj-Napoca, it is just a wonderful place to visit and really get a feel for every-day Romanian city life and culture.

 

     By Maggie from The World Was Here First

Cluj Napoca


    Sighisoara

     When people ask me about my experience traveling around Romania, I always describe it as a fabulous experience. I totally enjoyed being on a road trip, traveling around different cities and stopping at many cute towns. One of my favorites was Sighisoara since it felt as if I was stepping back into medieval times; it certainly looked like a fairy tale on earth!

     Sighisoara was a day trip from Sibiu, another one of my favorite cities. If you are not familiar with Sighisoara, it is located in Transylvania and is remarkably well-preserved, with an amazing history. It’s even earned a UNESCO World Heritage Site distinction. What specifically do I love about this city? Oh well, from the cute narrow cobblestone streets, brightly colored houses, to the romantic historic center with its 14th-century clock tower. The city is extremely lovely, enchanting and so cozy. I totally enjoyed the architecture and the charming cafes and restaurants. 

      By Olga Maria from Dreams in Heels 

Sighisoara


   Sibiu

     Sibiu, Romania might be among the most picturesque and charming towns you will ever see. Founded in the 12th century by German settlers has been often called the most Eastern point with Western European culture. You can still see a lot of German remnants around and will most likely stumble across the old name of the city – Hermannstadt. Today Sibiu is a gem of Romania and one of the most culturally important cities in the country. When walking around Sibiu you might feel like someone is watching you – that’s because the houses have eyes here. Built for cooling purposes the attic window is a typical feature for the city.

    Some of these distinctive houses date back to the 15th century! But they are not the only thing worth seeing in Sibiu. Be sure to visit both the Upper and Lower town, wander around the charming lanes and stop for a coffee at one of the cozy cafes. Make sure to climb the Council Tower to see the best view of the city. But the best thing to do in Sibiu is to slow down and enjoy the city’s calm vibe and beautiful architecture – it’s worth your time!

    By Kami from My Wanderlust 

Sibiu


   Peles Castle

     Last winter I ventured on a day trip from Bucharest to Peles Castle, and I’m glad I did so. The Peles Castle is a neoclassical construction in Sinaia in the Carpathian Mountains. King Carol I commissioned its construction because he fell in love with the area, and I can assure you he wasn’t off base.

     The landscape is breathtaking with the snow-capped mountains and dense forest surrounding the castle. The building itself reminds a lot the Bavarian castles as a way to honor the king’s roots. When I was there, I couldn’t avoid but to think of how this site looked like those fairytale places, and I wondered how I had never seen a movie shot on that castle.

     Anyway, the woodwork and yellow bricks that adorn the facade look exceptionally romantic. The interior is highly (and beautifully) decorated with angels and other figures carved on wood as well as many paintings. If you’re looking for more places to visit in Romania besides Bucharest, be sure to include the jaw-dropping Peles Castle to your list. You won’t regret it.

     By Bruna from Maps ‘N Bagscarpathian-mountains-peles-castle


   Iasi

     I had never heard of Iasi before until I was planning my summer trip to Eastern Europe last year. The cheapest way to fly into Romania from the Netherlands was with one of the budget airlines to Iasi. A small town in the northeastern corner of the country. My travel guide was brief and neither was there a lot to find on the internet.

     With little expectations, I arrived but soon discovered a lively young student city full of beautiful churches, interesting museums and great places to eat. The fact that it wasn’t overrun by tourists was part of its charm. We could watch the incredible frescoes in the churches and monasteries practically on our own and felt like a true explorer finding an unexplored gem.

     The city was an interesting mix of its rich history as the former capital of the Moldovan kingdom and its former role as an industrial center during the communist regime. It was a great introduction to the beautiful northeastern part of Romania that left me wondering why so little is known about this amazing city. 

 By Ellis from Backpack Adventures

Iasi Romania

   The Merry Cemetery of Sapanta

     I was inspired to visit Romania after watching Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” episode about his trip to the country. I was especially interested in visiting the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, a small village outside of Sighetu Marmatiei in northwest Romania.  From Bourdain’s program, I learned that the Merry Cemetery was founded in 1935 when local carver and artisan Stan Ioan Patras carved and painted his first wooden tombstone.  
     Today, there are more than 600 crosses in the cemetery, the oldest of which were handmade by Patras and the more recent having been carved by his apprentice.  Each cross is painted a distinct, bright shade of blue, shows a simplistic image of the deceased (with many showing the moment or cause of death) and features a simple rhyming poem celebrating the life and death of the person buried beneath.  Even though it has been a few years since I visited the Merry Cemetery, I still recommend it as one of my favorite tourist destinations in Europe because it really does turn something sad into something that is, truly, merry. 
     By Carly from Fearless Female Travels
The merry cemetery

    Bucovina

     In a region close to the borders of the old continent, bordering Ukraine and Moldova, and separated from the rest of Romania by a mountain range is one of the wildest and most unknown regions of Europe that has managed to preserve its rural character and traditions: Bucovina.
     Imagine a small area of medium-sized mountains covered by dense forests, in whose heart small towns and cities are hidden (Bacau, Iasi, Piatra Neamt, and Suceava are the best known), in addition to a wonderful historical heritage in the form of churches and painted monasteries recognized as world heritage by the Unesco. The most famous is Voronet monastery, whose paintings were made with an intense blue called today ‘Voronet blue’.
     On the other hand, Bucovina is a particularly pleasant region far from the best-known tourist paths, the local population is welcoming, its cuisine delicious and it offers many possibilities for hiking in its stunning outdoors. If you decide to visit Bucovina, our favorite season there is Fall (when this pic was taken). Enjoy!

     By Inma from A World To Travel 

Bucovina


   Bran Castle

     Perched on top of a steep mountain, Bran Castle looks like something out of a fairy tale. It’s believed the castle once held prisoner, Vlad the Impaler the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. This slim connection to the Dracula legend has helped make Bran Castle one of Romania’s most popular tourist sites. Everyone wants to see Dracula’s Castle!

     And while the whole vampire thing might seem a little silly, the castle is still one of the best places to visit in Romania. This is a castle plucked straight from the imagination with a maze of rooms, narrow passageways and staircases, torture room and creaking wooden doors. There’s even a secret passage hidden behind a large library.

     Originally built as a fort to protect the German Saxons who lived in the region, the castle is surrounded by towers and ramparts. It’s been restored several times and the furniture and doors feature beautifully detailed carvings. It’s unlike any castle I’ve visited, and if you’re in Romania, not to be missed.

     By Audrey from Gumnuts Abroad     

Bran Castle Romania

   Constanta

     I loved my trip to Romania in 2014. Everything I visited was historically interesting and aesthetically stunning. One of the very first things I did when I arrived in Constanta was swimming in the Black Sea. The beach was beautiful and very big: even though crowded, there was plenty of space for everyone.
     Obviously, this is only one of the many things you can do in Constanta. The city in itself is very charming. It was a Roman territory and you can still see the symbol of Rome, the wolf with the two twins, in many places.
     Constanta has a long history and its streets and buildings evoke its ancient past. I absolutely loved visiting the National History and Archaeology Museum and the Roman mosaic nearby. A vast collection of Roman and Greek objects and artwork as well as medieval maps, tools, documents, and more artwork, the museum is a must.
     Even though I suggest visiting some of the landmarks the city has to offer, Constanta is also pleasant to just walk around, especially along the coast with the view of its Art-Nouveau casino building.
     By Angela from Chasing the Unexpected 
Constanta

   Poiana Brasov

     One of my favorite places in Romania, especially in the winter, is the beautiful ski resort of Poiana Brasov, which is one of the best places to ski in the Balkans  Located just 30 minutes away from the vibrant Transylvanian city of Brasov, Poiana Brasov is absolutely stunning when covered in snow. It has 13 ski pistes perfect for skiers and snowboarders, and there are also some 9 kilometers of cross-country ski paths if that’s the kind of winter adventure you prefer. It’s quite affordable to ski in Romania especially compared to counterparts in Western European counties like Switzerland or Italy!

     Even if you don’t know how to ski, there are plenty of ways to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Poiana Brasov. I loved relaxing at the Teleferic Spa, which had a gorgeous outdoor hot tub that was fantastic to enjoy in the cold weather with snow-covered trees all around. The saunas and steam rooms there were excellent and the massages there were so relaxing. I visited at the beginning of November and was surprised by how much snow there was already, though of course skiers would probably enjoy it even more in January or February when there is more snow on the mountains. 

     By Allison from Sofia Adventures

Poiana Brasov Romania


   Busteni

     In the Prahova Valley, in-between Sinaia and Brasov is my favorite mountain resort town-Busteni. This area is simply amazing if you love the outdoors and hiking! There are the moderate trails to “Cascada Urlatoare” (Howling Waterfall), and “Poiana Izvoarelor” (meadow of the springs) which leads up to a tea house. And the more difficult trails of “Jepii Mici” and “Jepii Mare” (meaning little and big Jepi trees) which go from the town all the way to the top of the mountain. The views on those trails are incredible and will take your breath away if the hike itself doesn’t! If you’re not into hiking but just like to get some fresh air, relaxing by the cool mountain stream in the summer is so refreshing. Or you can take the cable car to the top of the mountain and visit the unique stone formations up there, “Babele” and “Sphinxul”.

     The town itself is filled with little shops and restaurants and is fun to walk around in. For places to stay there’s the big Hotel Silva, and lots of B&B’s and affordable “cazare”, apartments people who live there rent out to visitors. Also, it’s no Peles, but Busteni has its own castle too, Cantacuzino, which is on the other side of town across the train tracks. Lastly, don’t forget to visit Caraiman Monastery. Surrounded by mountains and forests it’s a beautiful holy place! If you’re lucky the farm animals and the little pony that live there will be out too 🙂

     By Maura from Camera & a Canvas

Busteni


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